As I read “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy” (Prov. 14:10,) I’m reminded of the largest single need in the Adventist community today. This need doesn’t involve personalities or institutions. It doesn’t touch on finances or even theology. It speaks to the absolute foundation of experiencing salvation.
Much could be said about bitterness and joy, but, to me, this verse demonstrates how salvation is not a spectator event. It’s not even a group event.
Family, group and church worship have their important place for edifying and encouraging one another, but “each heart” must have its own time with God. “Each heart” must feel for itself and must interact with God individually.
“Each heart” will feel its own bitterness as it contemplates its own defects, and will experience its own joy as the Holy Spirit affirms good decisions and as it contemplates the sacrifice of the Cross.
Christians in our generation spend too little time with God. We think nothing of a relaxing evening in front of the TV for a couple of hours, while having spent only five minutes alone with God.
This verse illustrates the importance of personal worship – the kind that I refer to as “spiritual exercise.”
My friends go to the gym and exercise for an hour, and that helps keep their bodies healthy. But there too many ignore their spiritual health.They don’t study or pray or meditate on God’s holy Word.
Jesus’ “humanity made prayer a necessity and privilege. He required all the stronger divine support and comfort which His Father was ready to give.” 1 And if Jesus needed much prayer, then how about you and me? Has our genome improved in the last 2,000 years? We need more prayer, and most of us are starving our souls, resulting in spiritual anemia.
As we strive for spiritual health our hearts will find joy that will fill our cup, and as we behold and imitate the life of Jesus, “the glory of Heaven will shine in our lives, and be reflected on others” 2
This verse is a call for “each heart” to experience the joy that can be achieved only by one-on-one time with God.